Welcome to the E-SEE study page

Enhancing Social-Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years: A Community-based Randomised Controlled Trial (and Economic) Evaluation of the Incredible Years Infant and Toddler (0-2) Parenting Programmes

Behavioural and mental illness has become a public health crisis. There is a strong link between parent and child wellbeing. Incredible Years (IY) group-based parent programmes aim to promote social and emotional wellbeing in children aged 0 to 12 years. Reliable evidence for IY children over 3 years demonstrates increased child social and emotional wellbeing, fewer behavioural difficulties and, importantly, a positive impact on parent wellbeing – a major risk factor for healthy child development. However, few programmes and little evidence exist for the 0 to 2 year age range. So, we aim to investigate whether IY-Infant and IY-Toddler (0 to 2 years) programmes are effective (and cost-effective) in enhancing child social and emotional wellbeing at 20 months of age compared to usual care received.

Dr Tracey Bywater and colleagues from the University of York, together with collaborators from the University of Sheffield Clinical Trials Research Unit (CTRU), the University of Plymouth, Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust, the University of Central Lancashire, and the National University of Ireland Maynooth, have been awarded over £1.8 million by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research (PHR) programme to conduct the E-SEE Trial.

An 18 month pilot study is currently taking place across two areas in the UK and will be followed by a 30 month main trial. Parents and co-parents of children aged 0 to 2 months are being recruited and allocated at random either to receive usual care or to receive access to some part of the Incredible Years programme. All families on the study will be asked to complete surveys and be videoed playing with their child during visits to their home by researchers. Those allocated to receive a level of the Incredible Years programme will receive different levels/types of the programme depending on their level of need, which will be assessed by completion of a mental health questionnaire. Those allocated to receive Incredible Years will all get an Incredible Years (IY) book, and may be offered either or both of the IY-Infant (8 to 10 weeks; 2 hours per week) and IY-Toddler (12 weeks; 2 hours per week) programmes, depending on the results of the questionnaire.

Involvement of families in the study will last 18 months (until the child is 20 months old) and at the last home visit parents and co-parents will be asked to complete the final surveys, including some in relation to the child’s social and emotional well-being.

Linked projects will take place during the pilot study and the main trial to consider how best Incredible Years could be offered in the future, and to compare the results of our research with other similar research in the UK and abroad.

You can find out more about this study by visiting e-see-trial.org or clicking the E-SEE logo in the top right corner.

This project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR PHR) Programme (project number 13/93/10).

The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NIHR PHR Programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.

Study staff:

Name Role Organisation
Dr Tracey Bywater Chief Investigator Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Dr Vashti Berry Process Evaluation and Service Design University of Exeter
Dr Sarah Blower Trial Manager (University of York) Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Daniel Hind CTRU Assistant Director Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Sheffield
Dr Nicole Gridley Trial Coordinator (University of York) Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Prof Kath Kiernan Comparative analyses Department of Social Policy & Social Work, University of York
Dr Amanda Loban Data Manager Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Sheffield
Dr Amanda Mason-Jones Referral pathways and health data collection Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Dr Sinead McGilloway Comparative analyses Department of Psychology, Maynooth University
Kirsty McKendrick Trial Manager (University of Sheffield) Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Sheffield
Prof Kate Pickett Comparative analyses Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Dr Kate Rhee Incredible Years expertise Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust
Dr Gerry Richardson Senior Health Economist Centre for Health Economics, University of York
Dr Dawn Teare Senior Statistician Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Sheffield
Dr Louise Tracey PPI Lead Department of Health Sciences, University of York
Simon Walker Health Economist Centre for Health Economics, University of York
Dr Karen Whittaker Referral pathways School of Health, University of Central Lancashire